WordPress, other companies drop Twitter over API price hikes | The Star

Popular website-creation platform WordPress has become the latest to drop Twitter over the social media’s sudden, steep price hikes for its API, joining major companies like Microsoft and Intercom.

WordPress bloggers and other content creators will no longer be able to use the plugin Jetpack Social to automatically share their posts with Twitter, according to a statement Monday.

An API, short for application programming interface, acts as an intermediary that lets two applications communicate with each other and share data. It’s what lets e-commerce sites use third-party payment systems like PayPal, for example, or how your phone’s weather app gets its info from weather organizations.

Before Elon Musk, Twitter maintained free options for its API, which allowed developers to integrate the social media platform into their own apps or projects. This free access officially ended on April 29 — companies must now pay $42,000 to $210,000 a month for Twitter’s “enterprise” subscription.

WordPress drops Twitter after API changes

In WordPress’s statement titled “The End of Twitter Auto-Sharing,” the company said “Twitter decided, on short notice, to dramatically change the terms and pricing of the Twitter API. We have attempted to work with Twitter in good faith to negotiate new terms, but we have not been able to reach an agreement.”

WordPress users can still manually post their blogs on Twitter, but the platform’s auto-sharing capabilities no longer work with the social media. Jetpack’s auto-sharing still functions on sites like Tumblr, Facebook and LinkedIn, and will soon work with Instagram and Mastodon, the company continued.

An official plugin run by WordPress, Jetpack lets users automatically share new content on various social media, alongside offering tools for security, analytics, performance and more.

“We wish the outcome had been different, but our customers are always our primary concern, and we’re not willing to compromise the experience or value you receive from Jetpack,” WordPress’ statement reads.

Other companies leave Twitter over API changes

With its announcement, WordPress joins the countless small developers and, more recently, major companies stepping away from Twitter over its API pricing.

Shortly after Twitter announced the change, scores of developers said the new pricing will force them to shutter their Twitter-based apps — killing services like TwitExplorer, Twitter HP, FeedHive and much more.

Then, days before the change set in, Microsoft announced it would drop Twitter from its Microsoft Advertising platforms instead of paying the new fees. Musk responded by threatening to sue Microsoft, claiming the company trained their AI “illegally using Twitter data.”

Microsoft wasn’t done. Days later, gaming platform Xbox, owned by the tech giant, announced over Twitter they’d disabled the ability for users to directly share game clips with the social media using the console.

Around the same time, Intercom, a popular customer service and live chat company, announced they had dropped the site’s Twitter integration over its API pricing. A striking move, given Twitter has become a “key customer support channel,” per its own marketing.

Meanwhile, Twitter’s API changes have already stopped numerous automated bots from posting. Unfortunately, these included important public service bots — like those that give emergency alerts, weather updates, public transit changes and more.

When he first announced the API changes, Musk positioned the prices as a way to kill off Twitter’s bots. So far, it appears to have killed off much more.

Kevin Jiang is a Toronto-based staff reporter for the Star’s Express Desk. Follow him on Twitter: @crudelykevin

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